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Taylor found guilty of crimes against humanity

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Denzel Musumba

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Former Liberian President Charles Taylor became the first former head of state to be found guilty of war crimes by an international court since the Nuremburg trials of Nazis after World War II. In a historic verdict on Thursday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) convicted Taylor of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity in neighbouring Sierra Leone in return for "blood diamonds."And on the same day the court delivered its verdict, fresh attempts to claw back the cases of four Kenyans charged with crimes against humanity from The Hague began in the regional Parliament based in Arusha, Tanzania.

The East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) passed a Motion seeking to transfer trials from the International Criminal Court at The Hague to the Arusha-based East African Court of Justice.East Africa Community Minister Musa Sirma said the Eala resolution has been dispatched to the chair of the Council of Ministers, and will be part of agenda in the crucial meeting on Saturday.Thursday’s verdict was significant for outgoing ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, both for its historical significance, and for the criticism directed against him over his failure to get enough convictions during his tenure.

"Today is for the people of Sierra Leone who suffered horribly at the hands of Charles Taylor and his proxy forces," said prosecutor Brenda Hollis."This judgement brings some measure of justice to the many thousands of victims who paid a terrible price for Taylor’s crimes."Prosecutors and defence lawyers said they would study the lengthy judgement to see if there were grounds for appeal.

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